Parents going through a divorce might seek creative child custody options. They want to co-parent and provide their child with the care and support they need following their split. They might fear traditional child custody arrangements might not fulfill these goals.
One alternative option to traditional child custody arrangements is “nesting.” But is nesting appropriate for all families?
What is nesting?
In traditional child custody arrangements, either both parents share joint physical custody or one parent has sole physical custody and the other parent has visitation periods with the child.
In either case, the child will travel between each parent’s homes when it is that parent’s turn to have the child in their care.
Some believe these constant transitions can cause a child to feel stress during a time of change and uncertainty. Nesting addresses this concern.
Through nesting, the child stays put in the family home. Instead, the parents will rotate between living in the family home during their custody or visitation period and living in a separate apartment when it is not their custody or visitation period.
Is nesting always appropriate?
Nesting might initially seem like the answer to ensuring a child’s well-being is protected post-divorce. But nesting might not be appropriate for all families.
First, nesting will not necessarily end all conflict between parents. If this conflict runs too deep, nesting arrangements might not be followed as agreed-upon which can lead to further conflict and possibly cause nesting to fail.
Second, it is possible that one or both parents will find a new partner post-divorce. They might want their new partner to live with them. This can drive a wedge in the nesting arrangement, especially if your child or the child’s other parent objects to the new relationship.
Third, nesting can fall apart if parents cannot communicate with one another about their child. Each parent needs to know what the child is up to when it is not their parenting time. Withholding information can deteriorate the cooperation needed to make nesting successful.